Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: 

A member of the government in India’s Madhya Pradesh State has said that he would like to try a young couple for sedition for converting to Christianity. In Madhya Pradesh, state law requires individuals to get permission from the state government in order to change their religions. Last week, the wedding of a young couple taking place in a church was raided and stopped by Hindu radicals and police claiming the couple had illegally converted from Hinduism. Now, the couple faces serious charges for practicing the religion of their choice. India’s constitution provides religious freedom to all its citizens, but several states in India has passed laws severely curtailing this freedom. 

5/2/2016 India (The Indian Express) – A member of the Madhya Pradesh Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Department who enjoys minister of state status, Laxmi Yadav, was present when Bajrang Dal activists stormed into a church in Satna on April 27 and stopped a wedding alleging the couple had converted.

As the Bajrang Dal insists Arun Kushwaha and Subhadra Kushwaha can marry only in a temple, Yadav said, “This is the first case in the country when Christians were caught red-handed converting and marrying OBCs. We will reconvert them, purify them after sprinkling Gangajal and hold a Hindu marriage for the couple. I am seeking legal opinion on whether sedition charge could be invoked against the Christians for waging a war against the country.”

Bajrang Dal leader Rajkumar Mishra, who has spearheaded campaigns against conversion, love jihad and cow slaughter and claims to have “saved hundreds of Hindu girls”, led a protest two days after the Church attack where an effigy of the Pope was burnt in front of a leading Catholic school of Satna. The protesters tried to enter the school premises too but were stopped by police.

Both Arun, 24, who has studied up to Class XII, and Subhadra insist they have not formally converted to Christianity, only undergone “man parivartan (a change of heart)”. They say their families were attracted to Christianity after their ailing parents, who couldn’t be helped by medical practitioners, were cured.

“We went to five doctors, and then the sixth (Christ) cured them, so we started believing in Him,” says Arun.

However, the Bajrang Dal men kept asking them why they were getting married in a church if they hadn’t converted, they say. The couple had chosen April 27 for the wedding as it was Arun’s birthday.

Bajrang Dal activists had barged into the Church of God (Full Gospel) in India, where the wedding was happening, followed by the local police, roughed up relatives from both sides, and stopped the ceremony. Police say they went because they were told “conversion was taking place”.

Pastor Sam Samuel says Wednesday’s was the first-ever wedding being held at the church that came up in 1998. “The presence of so many Hindus, many of whom believe in our way, had the right wing worried. Police abused us in front of the activists and later apologized saying they had to put up an act,” he says. He says he was also asked by police not to visit the church or his first-floor residence that night and later not to venture out of his home.

[Full Story]